Seventh Generation welcomes binoojiihns at Baby Celebration

Joseph V. Sowmick - February 01, 2017

Team Observer joins with the Seventh Generation Program in honoring the new binoojiihns at the January 30 Baby Celebration.  The Seventh Generation Program event took place in the Elijah Elk Ceremonial Building and Seventh Generation Cultural Manager LeeAnn Ruffino informs the celebration takes place twice a year.

“Our staff looks forward to hosting this event with help from the Nimkee Public Health Nurses, Healthy Start Program, Anishinaabeg Child and Family Services, Anishinaabe Language Revitalization Department, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College and the Behavioral Health Program. We had 13 babies and about 65 people for this year’s event,” Ruffino said. “This year, Ray Cadotte brought the Hoop Dancers from Ziibiwing and shared teachings of the beautiful dance.”


Ruffino informs “Mnajaadaa Binoojiihns” is an Ojibwe translation than means “let’s celebrate baby.”

“It is a wonderful way to honor and appreciate the babies born in our community. This idea to honor the babies in our community, was originally brought to us by the Family Resource Program, Milton “Beaver” Pelcher and Virginia Pigeon in the early ‘90’s,” Ruffino said.  “The energy in the ceremonial building radiated love as beautiful babies cried and cooed. The children played and laughed and this was just good medicine for your soul. Babies bring out the silly in me and to make a baby smile fills my heart.”


Sandy Smith, Behavioral Health Housekeeper and resident seamstress, has been making the babies blankets for the event for 23 years. For her love to the babies and families in our community, Seventh Generation gifted her with a cedar shaker and a cedar box to keep it in.  The Seventh Generation staff offers a ‘chi-miigwetch” to everyone who attended and those that helped out to make it a fun night.


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